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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was infrastructure.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Liberal MP for Parkdale—High Park (Ontario)

Lost his last election, in 2011, with 32.90% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Ethics March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, we know why the member opposite is avoiding the question. The Prime Minister arranged for $15 million in taxpayer dollars to employ his former senior staff. What did Canadians get for this $15 million?

On the organization's website, Canada School of Energy and Environment, is a presentation Mr. Carson gave in 2010 to the Manning conference entitled “Managing a Conservative Political Agenda in a Minority Situation”. It is full of advice on how to manipulate the media, question period and members of Parliament.

Will the Prime Minister now admit he is just a defrocked televangelist of accountability--

Ethics March 24th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Bruce Carson was given privileged access by the Prime Minister to inside information about Canada's energy and environment policy. He was not alone.

The Conservatives gave $15 million for a new program while Mr. Carson was advising the Prime Minister on energy and environment. He was then made the executive director of the same program, but it now turns out that the deputy director, Mr. Adamson, is a former Conservative policy adviser to the Minister of Industry, who had funded the program in the first place. To top it off, the program's current chair, Mr. Heidecker, is the former vice-president of the Alberta Conservative Party.

The question is no longer whether the Prime Minister is giving—

Ethics March 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, five months later the Conservatives sent Mr. Carson to yet another international climate change summit, this time as one of Canada's four official delegates. Mr. Carson was there as the representative of the Prime Minister.

However, Mr. Carson's day job was to advise the oil and gas industry on energy and climate change policy. Every Canadian knows this is a conflict of interest. The RCMP may now be investigating how Mr. Carson used his special access. However, the Prime Minister owes Canadians an explanation of why, when, and how Mr. Carson was given this kind of access in the first place.

Ethics March 23rd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, on April 28, 2009, three months after Bruce Carson left the PMO, the former minister of the environment had a bilateral meeting in Washington with Steven Chu, the energy secretary. Eleven other people attended: seven American senior department officials were there with Dr. Chu; the Canadian ambassador, and two staff from Mr. Prentice's office; so was Bruce Carson, not the private citizen but as introduced as special adviser to Minister Prentice.

Would the Prime Minister explain why his former staff continued to enjoy privileged access at high level private discussions months after he was supposed to have left the government's employ?

United Nations Security Council Resolution Concerning Libya March 21st, 2011

Mr. Chair, could my hon. member elaborate on some things on which he has already touched.

I have constituents who, for example, are in refugee camps, Eritreans and those who are in harm's way. I wonder if it is not too early for the House to consider the other parts of the right to protect. What else are we prepared to do by way of repair, by way of prevention in areas that are not yet part of the battle that is manifesting itself and where civilians are in harm's way?

It is important, and might even be important to Canadians who today are hearing about this decision but who are not perhaps as knowledgeable about the risk that has been building, to know how we differentiate this from some of the things we have learned in Afghanistan and elsewhere, how we bring things together, the capacity of Canada not just to send planes but also to work on some of those other things.

For example, Canadians have advanced some refugees for determination by our country and the UN has asked people to be part of that. Is there some new capacity coming forward so we can work with some of that to truly keep people safe and to perhaps bring some of those refugees over on an expedited basis or deal with their needs in partnership with our military commitment?

Human Rights March 9th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to request that all members here take note of the plight of Tibetan environmental philanthropist Karma Samdrup.

Mr. Samdrup is imprisoned by the Chinese government in Tibet on what Human Rights Watch says are dated and “trumped up charges”. Mr. Samdrup defended his brothers and was jailed when they challenged local officials in an environmental dispute. There are credible reports that Mr. Samdrup has been tortured during his imprisonment.

In 2006, Mr. Samdrup was CCTV's philanthropist of the year in China and today he is one of several cases of human rights abuse that concern Tibetan Canadians who tomorrow are marking the 52nd anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day when they lost their independence.

Members of Mr. Samdrup's family, who live in Toronto, are among the many people looking to us. It is vital that we as parliamentarians are vigilant and remain consistent in our support of human rights no matter where they are threatened. We call on China to treat Mr. Samdrup with all the respect his human rights deserve.

The Environment March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, what the environment minister simply does not get is that his abdication on retrofits is not only killing an environment program that people were using, but also killing the green investment it encouraged Canadians to make, and eliminating a green industry that Canada needs at the same time.

The energy efficiency industry reports the loss of 75% of its business already. People are being laid off, much-needed home retrofits are not getting done and Canadians are paying more than they need to for energy.

Is the minister proud of his mess, or will he now agree to fight to save this program and protect Canadians?

The Environment March 4th, 2011

Mr. Speaker, Canadians want to know why the Minister of the Environment is so enthusiastic to kill one of the few functioning environmental programs the Conservative government has had. He is letting a home retrofit program be eliminated, losing all $390 million.

Why is the minister abandoning the only program to help working families fight high energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas at the same time? In the past year alone families are facing a $200 increase in energy costs.

Would the minister simply admit today that he just does not have the clout to save a vital environmental program?

The Environment March 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I reject outright a Minister of the Environment who has rolled over and surrendered more resources more quickly than any other minister in the history of Canada, some $800 million in 60 days.

Energy prices are up an average of $200 in the past year per family, yet the government is cutting 100% of support for the home retrofit program intended to protect families.

Will the Minister of the Environment, who wrote off this program so publicly after two days on the job, now explain to seniors and working families who are trying to make ends meet why they are being abandoned so callously by the government?

The Environment March 2nd, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the government has been bragging for weeks about what it will accomplish on the environment and climate change. Yesterday we learned what it really meant. The government is gutting support to protect Canadians from pollution and climate change, removing funds for all the new parks it has been promising for years and slashing money to monitor health hazards all to pay for more prisons for first-time offenders.

Will the minister now stand up in the House and admit that the only difference between him and four failed predecessors is that his failure has been in a record short period of time?